SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of India-based SpiceJet, launches scheduled cargo flights connecting Mumbai (BOM), Bengaluru (BLR) and Chennai (MAA) with Singapore (SIN).
The airline will deploy its B737-700F/800F twice-a-week to Singapore’s Changi Airport. The first scheduled flight carrying 13 tonnes of cargo was operated on 20 February. In addition to Singapore, SpiceXpress operates scheduled cargo flights to Hong Kong (HKG) and Bangladesh (DAK).
Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet says: “We are delighted to commence our scheduled freighter operations to Singapore. This development would strengthen air trades between the two countries by providing faster and seamless logistics solutions.
“In addition, this strategic move would help SpiceXpress build its network in South East Asia. Singapore is also well-positioned as a springboard for SpiceXpress into other markets such as Europe and Australia.”
Lim Ching Kiat, CAG’s managing director of Air Hub Development comments: “CAG has been engaging SpiceJet for several years to mount scheduled services to Singapore, hence we are pleased to welcome SpiceJet to Changi’s family of airlines.
“In these challenging times when air cargo capacity is constrained, the introduction of SpiceJet’s freighter service is much welcomed. The additional capacity helps support the transportation of essential goods such as medical and food supplies between the two countries,” Lim says.
With the Covid-19 pandemic draining vital bellyhold cargo capacity, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) says it has been working closely with its airline partners operating on the Singapore-India route to ensure that supply chains are kept open. In 2020, India was Changi Airport’s sixth largest air cargo market, with cargo tonnage reaching 75,000 tonnes for the year.
Between April and December 2020, SpiceJet operated over 230 chartered cargo flights, comprising freighter and cargo-only passenger flights, between India and Singapore. CAG notes that this air cargo capacity injected by SpiceJet has helped support air trade and the conveyance of humanitarian goods, including medical supplies and perishables, between the two countries.
In addition to SpiceJet, four other cargo airlines are operating freighter flights between Singapore and India. In 2020, Emirates, IndiGo, Singapore Airlines and SriLankan Airlines have also operated cargo-only passenger flights between India and Singapore.
In January 2021, Changi Airport handled 146,000 tonnes of airfreight throughput in total. The number of weekly cargo flights at the airport tripled to more than 950 compared to 2019, and the airport is now connected to about 70 cities by weekly cargo flights.
Meanwhile, with a network spanning 63 domestic and 50 international destinations and a fleet of 19 freighters, SpiceXpress is capable of flying over 600 tonnes of cargo daily to domestic and international destinations.
Since the lockdown began, SpiceJet and its cargo arm, SpiceXpress, have worked to ensure that the country’s supply chains remained active. The airline has transported vital goods and medical supplies to all corners of India and the world, operating 14,512 cargo flights since the lockdown began and carried around 121,205 tonnes of cargo.
To ensure seamless delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine both within and outside the country, SpiceJet has tied up with multiple partners including Brussels Airport, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC), Adani Ahmedabad International Airport among others. The airline has also tied-up with global leaders in cold chain solutions offering active and passive packaging and has the capability to transport extremely sensitive drugs and vaccines in controlled temperatures ranging from -40°c to +25°c.